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spicy eggplant with ground lamb

  • Yield: 4


4 baby eggplants, cut in half

Fine sea salt

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced into rings

2 Tbsp neutral oil such as grapeseed oil

1 lb/455 g ground American lamb

1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

1 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp ground black pepper

3 Tbsp sambal oelek

2 to 3 scallions, both white and green parts thinly sliced


  1. Place the halved eggplants in a medium bowl, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt over the cut sides, add 1 Tbsp of lime juice and let sit for 10 minutes. While the eggplant sits, prepare the lamb.
  2. Heat a wok or large saucepan with a lid over high heat. Add the oil, and once it is hot, add the shallots and sauteé for about 6 to 8 minutes, till they turn toffee brown. Rinse the eggplants under cold water, pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel, and add them to the shallots; stir-fry till their skin wilts and then the flesh is light brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer the shallots and eggplants to a plate. Return the wok to the stove.
  3. Add the ground lamb to the wok and cook until it browns and releases its juices. Add the sambal oelek, soy, and fish sauce. Fold to combine well. Return the shallots and eggplant to the lamb. Add ½ cup [120 ml] water and cover the wok with a lid. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook till the eggplant is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining lime juice. Taste and season with salt. Garnish with the scallions and serve immediately. This dish is best eaten warm.

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